Microsoft on track to sell five million Kinects by year’s end

By Ed Oswald, Betanews

Any doubts over Microsoft’s foray into motion-sensing gaming may have been erased as it announced Monday it was on track to sell five million units of its new Kinect controller. In just the first ten days, one million Kinects were sold, which included sales from both the US and Europe.

Kinect launched on November 4 in the US and last Wednesday across Europe. It is slated to launch Thursday in Asia, and in Japan on Saturday. By the holidays the company expects some 60,000 retailers worldwide to carry it, with 17 titles available.

Pioneered by Nintendo’s Wii, motion-sensing gaming is expected to be the “next big thing” when it comes to video games. It is widely though that Nintendo’s suprising dominance this generation had a lot to do with its innovative gameplay versus its graphical capabilities, which are far inferior to either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

The success of Kinect is likely a result of Microsoft’s general success overall during this generation of video game consoles. While the Wii has sold the most units overall, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming system has kept sales consistent, and has led overall sales for four months running.

It is also the direct opposite of what happened in the previous generation, when the Xbox struggled for relevancy against a powerful Sony lineup in both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. While the PlayStation 3 has begun to build some momentum as of late — mainly thanks to Blu-ray — it’s increasingly likely Sony will not be able to catch up to its better selling rivals in this generation.

Sony also has its own motion sensing controller, called the Move, however it took a full month before the controller shipped one million units in the US, and an additional 1.5 million units in Europe during the same period.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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